JACKSONVILLE – When it's working, you know it.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone was talking about the offensive line Wednesday. His gist was that when the unit plays it's not hard to realize it.
It's an issue of control, and the 2019 Jaguars haven't always had it.
"We've got to be more consistent, and I would say that that would be the one thing – looking to have control," Marrone said as the Jaguars (4-8) prepared to play the Los Angeles Chargers (4-8) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
"You're not going to go out there and just dominate every single snap, but you want to be able to control the line of scrimmage, to control what's going on. That's tight ends. That's backs. There are a lot of other people involved in that."
Offensive line has been a focus in the wake of Marrone's decision this week to start rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II over veteran Nick Foles, with Marrone saying Minshew's mobility factored into the decision.
Foles committed three turnovers on the first three drives in a loss to Tampa Bay Sunday. The interception and two lost fumbles all came while under pressure trying to pass. The Buccaneers registered five sacks – three on Foles and two on Minshew.
"It's definitely a topic we talk about," rookie right tackle Jawaan Taylor said. "I feel like we have to be more consistent. Last week wasn't our best performance, but we have to get better every week."
The lines overall have been a concern at various times this season. The Jaguars' 32 sacks allowed are tied for 15th most in the NFL, and they rank 15th in the NFL in rushing at 113.4 yards a game. The Jaguars rank sixth in the NFL with 38 sacks but rank 28th in the NFL in rushing defense at 136.6 yards a game.
"I think you can tell when you're playing a game when you're controlling the line of scrimmage," Marrone said. "Whether it be the run or the pass, I think we have to be more consistent and do a better job of that.
"It's easy to put it on one group, but usually when your offensive line or defensive line plays well, you've got a good opportunity to win. When you're not playing well on either side, or both sides, it gets tough in this league."
Also around the Jaguars Wednesday:
*As Marrone did early in the day, players early Wednesday afternoon talked about the motivation during the final four regular-season games after being all-but eliminated from the postseason. "You pretty much have four games left for the rest of your life; you never know what's going to happen," defensive tackle Abry Jones said. "Some of us have been in the league long enough to know if you have two bad years like this, changes come. I see these four games as pretty much as a resume for the next person, or if the coaching staff is still here whether you should still be here or go anywhere else. These four games are resume games. Every coach wants to know what a player's going to do when the tables are turned against him and he has nothing to play for. A lot of people say we love the game. This point, sadly, is where you show you really love the game. We all want to go to the playoffs, but we still get to play the game."
*Marrone discussed the play of Taylor. The Jaguars remain high on the second-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft and believe he will be a front-line tackle moving forward. But he and center Brandon Linder are tied for the league lead with seven holding penalties, and Taylor was called for holding and two false starts this past Sunday against the Buccaneers. Taylor also allowed two first-half sacks Sunday. "You get a little bit disappointed with the penalties, because he's a better player than that – to get those types of penalties," Marrone said. "He is growing as the season is going. You see those growing pains with young players. But I really believe he's going to be a much more consistent player. That's what we're looking for here at the end of the season. … I do think he'll get better. It's hard to judge the year when you're not playing well. But he's going to have a lot of experience and I think these last four games will say a lot about the direction he's going."
*Safety Ronnie Harrison (concussion), middle linebacker Myles Jack (knee) and tight end Seth DeValve (oblique) all missed practice; Harrison and Jack missed a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday and DeValve has missed the last three games. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook miss practiced with a personal issue while center Brandon Linder (knee) and defensive end Calais Campbell (back) missed practice as is typical on regular-season Wednesdays. Wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. (back) and Chris Conley (ankle); cornerbacks A.J. Bouye (calf), D.J. Hayden (neck) and cornerback Tre Herndon (shoulder); and linebacker Donald Payne (ankle) worked limited Wednesday. …